So 2011 started with a good day in my personal world. A very hearty congratulations once again to Tim & S! May your journey in life be a blessed and joyous one.
That said, the weddings in 2011 are far from over. Many more journeys to begin between two people who will be joined in ‘holy matrimony’ this year. Already this seems like a year of the weddings – again. Third year running. For people who don’t quite get what this means… its ok. It isn’t that important anyway.
Moving on to a broader spectrum we have a lot to look forward to in 2011 the first major even being the Cricket World Cup starting in February being co-hosted by India-Sri Lanka-Bangladesh.
Not long ago that list had Pakistan’s name in it as well but thanks to certain security fears and the terror attacks in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team bus in Feb 2009 it was promptly dropped. Cricket in the country has been through a lot since then. With the single major high point being our T20 2009 world cup win. But its all been mostly disappointing apart from that. Losing hosting rights, a PCB chairman who continues to be a buffoon, match fixing scandals, negative spotlight, whitewashes, horrible surrenders and collapses from winning positions, ball biting, politics, bans, overturns etc. etc. etc. Hopefully as we come closer to the WC in February and as the current outing in New Zealand continues we will be somewhat of a more hopeful bunch of fans. Fingers crossed we will at least put up fighting displays.
Apart from cricket also the country hasn’t really had the best of years. Floods, allegations of corruption, a government which continues to lose support and gain criticism, lack of governance and system etc etc. The Government is the least liked institution in the country I think…. who knew? Politics as a whole is just down right embarrassing for this nation. Barely a few days ago right towards the end of 2010, PML-N and MQM engaged in a bizarre war of words which stooped to mud slinging first of the political arena and then to personal lives of each other’s leaders. Now whatever my personal opinion of any politician it is simply unacceptable for parties to come on television on channels which can be viewed not only throughout the country but also around the globe and start using foul language and drag personal lives into the fold. It is humiliating for the nation. It is defaming the name of the country. It is discrediting the abilities of the people in charge of various parts of governance or who vie / fight elections to be in charge and makes all of us feel like we are being made a mockery of. Things need to change in that aspect. But then that’s been known by and large for a long period of time since the inception of this country. Nothing’s been done on that notion but needs to be.
Coming back to the tragedy of the floods in Pakistan, it has been devastating. It was one which affected millions of people and the after effects continue to exist. Lives have been disrupted, livelihoods have been disrupted and that has in turn obviously had an effect on the economy of the country as well.
Apart from the floods, there have also been the tragic air crashes (Air Blue in Islamabad, a private jet in Karachi and then a Cargo Plan in Karachi) and not to mention the continued loss of life in target killings, terror attacks etc. etc.
As the new year starts I think it is a collective prayer from all that 2011 is kinder to us. To add to that I sincerely feel we need to be kinder to ourselves in order for that to happen. Take charge, act and not just sleep and let it go.
If…and only if…. we try to help ourselves then Allah will help us as well. That said apparently there are whispers in the wind that from economic point of view things might look up for the country in the coming year. It seems that the strategic location of Pakistan (as it has in the past) will continue to be a golden lifeline for the country for ions to come. Not to jinx anything but for most countries and regions the best possible situation in this region is that of a Stable Pakistan. And I am not talking about the Americans. There are others with interests in a Stable Pakistan. In fact it is said that the interest goes beyond stability but to that of dominance. We merely need to play our cards right. And stop being architects of our own demise and destruction.
I would like to recap a few things from 2010, not all, which I feel should be of note:
January 4th, 2010 : The tallest man made structure to date, the Burj Khalifa is officially opened in Dubai, UAE.
January 12th, 2010: Earthquake in Haiti of 7.0 magnitude kills over 230,000
February 12-28th, 2010: The winter Olympics are successfully held in Vancouver, Canada.
February 17th, 2010: I turned a quarter of a century old.
March 16th, 2010: The Kasubi Tombs, Uganda’s only cultural World Heritage Site, are destroyed by fire.
April 10th, 2010: The president of Poland dies in an air crash also killing 96 others.
April 20th, 2010: The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers. The resulting oil spill, one of the largest in history, spreads for several months, damaging the waters and the United States coastline, and prompting international debate and doubt about the practice and procedures of offshore drilling.
June, 2010: The FIFA World Cup is held in South Africa. Spain win the world cup for the first time and become the only nation to have won it while being the European Champions. (I might be wrong about the ‘only nation’ part. Kindly correct if so.)
July, 2010: Apart from the first 24 hour solar powered flight, July was all about Wikileaks. Wikileaks, an online publisher of anonymous, covert, and classified material, leaks to the public over 90,000 internal reports about the United States-led involvement in the War in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.
July – August, 2010: Heavy monsoon rains begin to cause widespread flooding(pictured) in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Over 1,600 are killed, and more than one million are displaced by the floods.
October, 2010: Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, trapped 700 metres underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, are brought back to the surface after surviving for a record 69 days.
November – December, 2010: Just more Wikileaks and also the First time in 20 years (again please correct me if I am wrong) that England have retained the Ashes by beating Australia in the Fourth test.
As I wrap up this post and say a final good bye to 2010 (a year of Offences as Sami Shah put it in his column in Express Tribune last Thursday – which was an excellent piece by the way) I would like to leave you with the following wish for the new year:
Happy 2011 everyone. Let’s make this the year we better ourselves. Let’s make this the year that we take chances in life. Let’s make this the year we make dreams come true. And finally let’s make 2011 a really happy one for all. Celebrate Love, Life and everything beautiful. May Allah bless 2011, Ameen.
Cheers 🙂 !